Welcome again to ChowHub, today we are learning how to do Akara. Akara is a very popular Nigerian snack, which English name is’ Fried Bean cake’ or ‘ Fried Bean fritters’.
Akara is a snack that was originally discovered in Nigeria in south-west region (Yoruba land) but it has gotten to some number of West Africa Countries and it has also been accepted in Brazil. It is called Acaraje in Brazil and in other parts of West African countries.
Acarajé was first sold during the times of the colonial by freed slaves. It became a great source of income for a lot of slaves after slavery was banned in 1886.
Acarajé has a deep origin which is associated with the divine gods of Candomblé, a religion done in the Afro-Brazillian brought by the West African slaves.
It is a popular traditional snack in Nigeria that is also popular in countries like Togo, Ghana, Mali, Benin and even Gambia. It is a fried bean cake that is commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack. Black-eyed pea is commonly used for making the bean cake.
But if don’t have black-eyed peas, you can use any other type of bean e.g Cowpea. Most times people soak the beans overnight so that the outer skin can be removed. Then the bean is grinded into a paste, seasoned and then fried.
Akara can be eaten alone or with any type of dipping sauces. The dipping sauce can be prepared, tomatoes, scotch bonnet, red bell pepper, chicken seasoning cube. It is a concept of a Nigerian sauce called pepper sauce ( obe ata dindin).
In Nigeria, the Yoruba people call it Akara, but it is known as Kosai by the Hausa people of Nigeria. Akara is traditionally eaten with ogi or eko(Both are cornmeal made dishes).
It can also be eaten with custard, cooked oatmeal etc. Akara is a good street food, there are a lot of sellers that can be found anywhere frying them at any given time of the day.
You can fry your akara ahead of time, though it is better to them immediately after frying. You can fry them again for about 30 seconds when you are ready to eat the akara. Another way of reheating your akara is by placing them in your microwave oven for about 5 minutes.
A well prepared Akara must be Airy, Light,fairly rounded and soft. When the Akara looks flat it means there isn’t enough air which has not been introduced into the bean batter, this is why it is very important to whisk the bean batter very well or just stir it for some minutes before you fry it.
Akara is usually fried in vegetable oil. But, the Ijesha people of the South-west region of Nigeria fry their akara in palm oil. So you can also decide to fry your akara in palm oil to try something new.
Akara is a very healthy snack and it does not contain the following:
- Trans Fat
- Hydrogenated oil
- Preservatives or Additives
- Meat Products
- Tree nuts
- Soy product
Akara contains Organic, Natural and Healthy Ingredients, Blended Oils which are high in Omega-6 and Antioxidants, Protein, Fiber, Wholesome Beans.
3 cups of black-eyed peas
3 pieces of scotch bonnet (chopped)
2 medium-sized onions (chopped)
2 pieces of Red bell pepper
1 chicken seasoning
½ cup of ground crayfish
Salt to taste
Vegetable for frying
- Soak your black-eyed peas overnight or you can just soak it for just 15-20minutes.
- Peel off the back of the black-eyed peas by rubbing it together your hands. But, you can speed up the process by using a food processor or using a blender. You can use the blender by soaking the black-eyed peas for 5 minutes, put it in the blender and use the pulse function of your blender. It doesn’t break the beans but makes the skin easily removed. You can then sieve the skin out with clean water which leaves the white part of the black-eyed peas.
- Rinse the peeled black-eyed peas and add one onion, red bell pepper and scotch bonnet. Blend it with just little water (if the water is too much, the bean balls will not form).
- Put the paste in a large bowl, add your salt, crushed seasoning and crayfish then stir together.
- Heat up your vegetable oil into a frying pan. Scoop the mixture into the hot vegetable oil to form balls .Fry till two sides turns brown.
- Remove the bean fritters and place it in a kitchen towel before placing it in a serving dish.